Green Groups Protest as 600-Meter Bund Halts Water Supply to Navi Mumbai's DPS Lake

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  • 15th May 2024
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Green Groups Protest as 600-Meter Bund Halts Water Supply to Navi Mumbai's DPS Lake
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Navi Mumbai: In a stark violation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms and a Bombay High Court judgment, a 600-meter bund has been constructed at DPS Flamingo Lake, as alleged by environmental groups. The local NGO NatConnect Foundation, in a complaint to the chief minister and the High Court-appointed mangrove protection and conservation committee, stated that the bund has transformed into a kutcha road, obstructing tidal water flow into the lake.

This obstruction has resulted in the death of ten flamingos and injury to many others due to disorientation as the lake dried up.

The bund, cutting through mangroves on one side and a wetland on the other, flagrantly violates CRZ1 regulations, according to environmentalists. NatConnect director B N Kumar included the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC) in the complaint. Besides breaching the 1991 CRZ notification, the bund also contravenes a September 2018 Bombay High Court judgment directing Cidco to maintain the status quo at DPS Lake. As the landlord of the area, Cidco is held responsible for this significant violation, with the kutcha road blocking the tidal water flow into the 30-acre DPS Flamingo Lake.

The mangroves in this region have yet to be handed over to the forest department.

NatConnect has urged the government to intervene immediately, ordering Cidco to remove the debris and earth from the area to restore the free flow of tidal water. Nandakumar Pawar, head of Sagar Shakti, remarked that Cidco has a history of environmental offenses and often escapes accountability. He emphasized that officials, including those who have retired or been transferred, must be held accountable for these environmental crimes.

An examination of Google Earth maps from February 1991 onwards, following the CRZ notification, reveals no road at this location. Instead, the maps show dense vegetation, likely mangroves.

The construction of the bund at DPS Lake represents a serious environmental violation, highlighting the ongoing challenges in enforcing environmental regulations and holding responsible parties accountable. The situation underscores the critical need for vigilant protection of ecologically sensitive areas and strict adherence to legal mandates to prevent further ecological damage.

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